For the third successive day, the Dasna toll plaza at NH-24 continued to be occupied by a handful of activists of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU). The activists have not allowed Wave Infratech - earlier owned by slain liquor baron Ponty Chadha - which manages the plaza, to collect toll.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday visited the toll plaza and alleged mismanagement.
He also raised various demands in a meeting held between senior administration and police officials. In their memorandum of demands, BKU alleged that the actual cost of the toll plaza had already collected and raised the suspicion that an added income of R10 lakh per day had been concealed by Wave by fudging the number of vehicles crossing the toll plaza.
The stalemate between the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), district administration officials and BKU activists also continued.
NHAI officials at Ghaziabad's denied any mismanagement and refuted BKU's allegations. NHAI project-director Manoj Kumar Gupta said the toll collection contract was awarded to Wave Industries in June after the previous contractor could not complete the contract.
The contract was extended for three months till November.
As part of the signed contract, the contractor is supposed to submit around R3.25 lakh per day to NHAI and should also maintain computerised infrastructure and a staff of nearly 110 employees. The rates were revised to R3.87 lakh per day in October. Any excess amount goes to the collection company.
"The contract was extended for another 15 days from December 1. Ideally the contract is for a year but since no new fee collection agency was available, the contract was further extended," Gupta said. He denied allegations that figures were being fudged.
HT repeatedly tried to contact Wave Industries for their comment on the issue, but they did not revert.
According to a 2012 assessment, nearly 21,000 vehicles pass through the toll plaza each day. Dasna toll plaza caters to a 32-km stretch of the NH-24.
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